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James "Jim" Anthony Larkin born June 16, is a Phoenix publisher and journalist, known for his influence in the alternative newspaper industry. He is largely responsible, along with business partner Michael Laceyfor expanding the Phoenix New Times from its origins as an anti-Vietnam War weekly begun in Tempe, Arizona in into what became the nation's largest chain of alternative weeklies, known as New Times Inc. With Larkin in charge of the business side and Lacey in charge of editorial, the two men expanded what had been a small, college-based publication with a circulation of 16, to an industry giant with a combined circulation of 1.

Ferrer purchased Back in from Lacey and Larkin in a seller-financed deal. Critics accused Back of promoting prostitution and sex trafficking through its "adult" section, though the in the section had been found by several federal and state courts to be protected by Section of the Communications Decency Act of and the First Amendment.

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Back closed its adult ad section in January on the eve of a federal hearing into its practices. The U. Department of Justice later convened a federal grand jury to investigate the company, and in Aprilthe FBI arrested Larkin, Lacey and several others on charges of facilitating prostitution, money laundering and conspiracy, with Ferrer turning states evidence and promising to testify against his former partners in exchange for leniency. Larkin, Lacey and four others have pleaded not guilty to all charges in the indictment— total, [6] with each defendant charged with different counts.

The FBI also seized Back, removing it permanently from the internet. Senator Mark Kelly in Agnes grade school in Phoenix, [11] then Gerard Catholic High Schoolwhere he reportedly co-founded a student newspaper, The Big Presswhich criticized the school's administration, resulting in a brief suspension. After returning Craigslist escort Omaha service Phoenix, he encountered the fledgling New Times weekly, first named the Arizona Times. As Lacey later recalled, inLarkin wrote "a long letter to New Times analyzing the local media and political scene," after which, the two men met and clicked, with Lacey saying that Larkin would eventually "grow into the single most important reason for [the paper's] later success".

In the spirit of the times, the paper was organized as a collective, which one writer described in later years as "more Maoist rag than H. Mencken chronicle. His perspective was decidedly practical as he worked alongside a staff of dreamers.

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Meanwhile, Lacey, who had grown up in Newark, New Jersey, was giving blood, then plasma, to keep the paper going. For the paper's 20th Anniversary edition inLarkin described that because the paper was a collective "anyone who had written ANYTHING for the paper -- a couple of record reviews even -- would have as much voice as I did, even though I was working there full time and it was my bread and butter. Despite notable journalistic achievements in the paper's early years—such as exposing Arizona Sen. New ownership and management increasingly thought of the paper as a college publication centered around ASU, but in MarchLacey and Larkin rendezvoused in Mexico and plotted a stockholder revolt, referred to by insiders as "the Coup," [14] that placed them both back in control of the company, with Larkin as publisher and Lacey as executive editor.

The paper's headquarters moved physically and symbolically from downtown Tempe to Phoenix's Westward Ho hotel.

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And the reborn weekly almost immediately enjoyed an unforeseen stroke of good fortune: A group of journalists calling themselves the Investigative Reporters and Editors IRE had descended on Arizona in the wake of the car-bombing of Arizona Republic reporter Don Bollesproducing the Arizona Report, a part investigation into the corruption and organized crime that led to Bolles' killing.

But though the Republic had reporters ased to the IRE project, the establishment daily refused to publish the statingclaiming the report fell short of journalistic standards.

As Larkin told Phoenix Magazine inhe was determined to be involved in the newspaper industry from a young age "because I knew it would be fun" and because "it had a power that was exponentially greater than it should have. And I knew that when I was 15 years old.

I just knew it. Paid advertising, especially affordable classified and personals, made the free Craigslist escort Omaha service profitable and able to afford full-time writing staffs. At that time, an estimated 81 percent of Phoenix New Times' readers were 18 to 44 and appreciated the papers' anti-authoritarian approach to the news, with Larkin saying that the paper had always tried to be "outrageous" and that outrageousness was part of the paper's marketing strategy: "We try to keep people guessing; we try to get them emotionally involved," Larkin said; sometimes this meant losing an advertising if the paper offended powerful individuals and companies.

As with all alternative papers, legal adult advertising—from strip clubs, erotic massage, escorts, etc. The same could be said for the Yellow s of years past. For many years, such were relatively uncontroversial, though that would change in the late s with the rise of online classified services such as Craigslist. Another successful source of income for PNT: it's yearly "Best Of" issue, which the paper successfully copyrighted and exported to sister outlets.

PNT was inspired by student protests against the Vietnam War, and throughout its history, the paper agitated on behalf of the First Amendment and even broader free speech rights. The first edition of the paper covered an anti-war demonstration at ASU and a simultaneous counter-demonstration by construction workers, aka, "hard hats," who took offense to the students' cause. The paper's first major free speech fight was over advertisements for "a referral service for abortions that were performed legally in California" that ran inwhen abortion was still illegal in Arizona.

Supreme Court's recent Roe v.

Wade decision invalidated Arizona's abortion statutes. In Tucson, the University of Arizona arbitrarily limited the distribution points for the paper and imposed a distribution fee, regulations that only affected NTI.

NTI sued the Arizona Board of Regentsand in Februarythe Arizona Supreme Court ruled against U of A and the Regents, writing that "The free publication and dissemination of books and other forms of printed matter are within the constitutionally protected freedoms of Larkin once described the paper's "stubborn approach to bureaucrats telling us 'you can't do that' or 'we're not going to allow you to do that", adding, "We knew what our rights were to distribute opinion and news".

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Induring a court hearing regarding a Maricopa County Attorney's Office MCAO sting meant to collar corrupt politicians called AzScam, it was revealed that the AzScam's undercover investigator, Joe Stedino, had been ordered to investigate Lacey for alleged "illegal cocaine activity," though this was unrelated to AzScam's corruption probe. Lacey wrote that he believed County Attorney Romley's reason for targeting him had to do with an investigative series Lacey had done on Cluba notorious skid row bar in which Romley had a financial interest.

Ralph Milstead, a friend of Ortega's from their days as patrol cops, told Phoenix New Times that Ortega had convinced Milstead to investigate PNT executive editor Mike Lacey in the s for alleged cocaine smuggling, though there was no probable cause to do so. Predictably, the investigation uncovered no evidence of wrongdoing. Larkin and Lacey's most storied First Amendment battle was with Sheriff Arpaio, whom the paper had covered extensively since he was first elected in to be the top lawman of the state's most populous county.

The Phoenix New Times exposed the cruelty of Arpaio's jails, a cruelty that resulted in numerous high-profile deaths and multi-million-dollar lawsuit payouts.

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InArpaio spied an opportunity for revenge when PNT reporter John Dougherty reported on the hundreds of thousands of dollars that Arpaio had wrapped up in real-estate, asking how Arpaio got the money for these investments on a civil servant's salary and why the addresses of most had been redacted by the county.

Though Arpaio's address was available all over the internet in election filings and other official sources, Arpaio wanted Dougherty prosecuted for an obscure, never-used law that made it illegal to publish a law enforcement officer's address on the internet. Note: It was not illegal to publish it in print. InArpaio's politically ally, County Attorney Andrew Thomas, appointed a special prosecutor to investigate the supposed violation, Phoenix attorney Dennis Wilenchik, who issued broad grand jury subpoenas seeking detailed information on anyone who had visited the PNT website sincein addition to any and all documents related to stories written about Arpaio by three PNT reporters.

That evening, both Lacey and Larkin were arrested by plainclothes detectives driving Craigslist escort Omaha service cars with Mexican plates. The Phoenix New Times was an early and sustained success. Beginning inLacey and Larkin bought multiple other alternative newspapers, and by they owned eleven. In they bought The Village Voice and five others, merging with Village Voice Media to create a paper chain, but over time, Lacey and Larkin either acquired or began 21 publications in all. Ultimately, the Internet devoured advertising profits, in no small part due to the rise of Craigslist.

To staunch the bleeding, in New Times created Back.

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Like Craigslist, Back featured where people could post for help wanted, car and home sales, rooms to let, antique sales, and so on. Similar to Craigslist, Back also had an "adult" section where advertisers could post listings for escorts, body rubs, striptease, etc.

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Craigslist's adult section was initially titled "erotic services". Back's name derived from the fact that classified generally appeared in the back of the newspaper's "book," with the literal back of the publication being a "a premium-priced ad showcase". For decades, such had been a staple of alternative weeklies and could even be found in the hardcopy of the ubiquitous phone listings book, the Yellow s[84] [85] [86] but the proliferation of such online drew the scrutiny of a coalition of NGOs, ambitious politicians and state Attorneys General, who claimed that the adult listings were thinly-veiled prostitution and in some cases were connected to sex trafficking, which involves either minors or adults forced into prostitution.

Following these changes, critics of Craigslist, such as U. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, lambasted the site for making money off adult on the site, though Craigslist started charging for adult as a concession to detractors.

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Also inCraigslist faced a public relations setback when the media dubbed medical student Philip Markoff the "Craigslist Killer," because the armed robber and murderer reportedly found his victims via the site's adult advertisements. In OctoberCraigslist beat back a lawsuit by Tom Dart, the sheriff of Cook County, Illinois, asking a federal court to order Craigslist to close its adult section.

In Dart v. CraigslistU. District Court Judge John F. Grady rejected Dart's effort, writing in his judgment that the suit was barred by Section of the Communications Decency Act ofwhich broadly immunized interactive websites from attempts to hold them liable for user-provided content. Grady wrote, "Intermediaries are not culpable for 'aiding and abetting' their customers who misuse their services to commit unlawful acts.

Craigslist's opponents were undeterred and pressed the site to remove its adult site altogether; Craigslist relented in Septemberblocking access to the adult section and adding a banner that read "Censored. Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster later confessed some remorse over the decision to remove the adult section, stating in an interview that, "For a long time we tried to do what, in our minds, was the principled thing.

We ended up doing the pragmatic thing. Back CEO Ferrer anticipated that Back would benefit from Craigslist decision to abandon adult advertising, writing in an internal that "It is an opportunity for us.

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Also a time when we need to make sure our content is not illegal. The largest share of the adult market went to Back, [99] helping to make Back the second-largest website catering to classified advertising. But both Lacey and Larkin had built their journalism brand on resistance to censorship and to authority, so they refused demands that they close the adult section.

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At the same time, Back beefed up its moderation practices: Illegal content, such as commercial offers of sex for money, were forbidden by the site's Craigslist escort Omaha service of service; users looking to post or just view content in the adult and dating had to certify they were 18 or over; people could easily flag suspected of illegal content, and the site provided information about the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children NCMECthe national clearinghouse for reports of missing kids, with a link to its Cybertipline.

Back used both automated and human moderation more than persons at a time to filter for s of possible illegal content, such as nudity or any of a list of 26, terms, URLs, addresses, etc. In AprilBack "removed more than 1 million user submissions and posts" and "referred approximately posts for to [NCMEC]," according to one court filing. And Back worked well with law enforcement: Employees responded to subpoenas within a day, sometimes aiding police without a subpoena if was involved. Company execs trained law enforcement on spotting sex trafficking on the site, and they testified in court against actual traffickers and pimps.

Over the years, Back had received effusive praise from law enforcement officials for its efforts to combat human trafficking. Nevertheless, activists and politicians continued to go after Back and VVM, which were part of the same company from till In andVVM published a series on sex trafficking, which federal law defines as coerced adult prostitution or child prostitution. In it, Conklin, Cizmar and Hinman disproved a much-repeated factoid that actor and anti-sex work activist Ashton Kutcher had recently repeated on a CNN talk show as Gospel: That there are "betweenandchild sex slaves in the United States today".

That's alarming and untrue, according to VVM, which traced the misinformation to a University of Pennsylvania study that actually claimed thatchildren were "at risk" for sexual exploitation. The study was flawed, never peer reviewed, and in the end, thoroughly discredited, though the false factoid still pops up from time to time.

The series featured a piece on the conclusions of a Women's Funding Network study that apparently were concocted by an Atlanta PR firm. VVM pointed out that Back had not been in existence in the cities mentioned on the dates she was supposedly trafficked. The uned piece states: "Back dedicates hundreds of Craigslist escort Omaha service to screen adult classifieds in order to keep juveniles off the site and to work proactively with law enforcement in their efforts to locate victims.

When the authorities have concerns, we share paperwork and records and help them make cases. Writing about Larkin and Lacey in an exclusive "inside look" at the federal case against them, published in AugustReason senior editor Elizabeth Nolan Brown observed the following about the ificance of the VVM sex-trafficking series in concert with Back's legal battles:.

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Despite these efforts, inthe Village Voice in New York was protested by demonstrators accusing the paper of promoting sex trafficking, [] and a coalition of 36 clergy denounced the paper in a full- ad in The New York Times. We have all these practicing politicians and concerned clergy after us. ZIP: 68112 68117 68118 68107 68104 68105 68108 68178 68164 68122 68127 68124 68022 68111 68110 68114 68116 68137 68135 68132 68144 68134 68131 68130 68102 68106 68152 68154 68101 68103 68109 68119 68139 68145 68172 68175 68176 68179 68180 68182 68183 68197 68198

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